Some paranormal explanations for Mothman sightings include the presence of aliens or UFOs and the indication of a future tragedy. Skeptics attribute the sightings to misidentified planes, hoaxes, pranks and a red-eye effect from bright lights, according to Joe Nickel in his book "The Mystery Chronicles: More Real Life X-Files." According to legend, Mothman is a large bird-like creature that appears in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.
The first appearance of Mothman is believed to have occurred on November 12, 1966. Additional sightings occurred over the next several days. In December 1967, the Silver Bridge collapsed, causing the deaths of 46 people. This led to the belief that the Mothman appears before a tragedy will occur. In 2004, Nickell noted in his book that workers had tied red flashlights to helium balloons after the first reported sightings.